Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Combustion, Safety and Fire Dynamics

Module aims

The overall aim of the course is to provide the scientific foundations of combustion, the greatest discoveries in human history, and an understanding of the physics and chemistry involved. The emphasis is on considering the challenges faced in power generation, propulsion and fuel processing regarding efficiency, emissions and safety.

ECTS units:  5    

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

1. Explain the principal terminology, concepts and theories of combustion, flames, engines and pollutants.

2. Discuss issues and trends relating to the global utilisation of fuels for energy consumption.

3. Analyse combustion problems using thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, reaction kinetics, flame theory, and dimensionless groups.

4. Explain the mechanisms and implications of ignition and flame types on pollutant formation, distinguishing reaction types and the effects of fuel/air mixture, pressure and temperature. 

5. Explain why combustion systems remain being the most formidable competitor to electric vehicles and renewable energies.

Module syllabus

Energy trends



Chemical Kinetics


Premixed and Diffusion Flames

Laminar and Turbulent Flames

Droplets and Particles



Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the main topics through lectures (2 hrs per week), supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Short activities (using interactive pedagogies) will occasionally be introduced in the classroom setting to reinforce learning, for example through pentameter and the like. You will be provided with problem solving sheets and should complete these as part of your independent study. Tutorials sessions (1 hr per week) will provide an opportunity for interaction with teaching staff where you can discuss specific problems. The Department lends to each student a print copy of the core textbook by McAllister "Fundamentals of combustion processes" Springer.


Assessment details        
      Pass mark   
Grading method Numeric   50%
Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 3 Hour exam 90% 50% Y
Coursework Calculations of flame temperatures and flame speeds 10% 50% N

Reading list

Module leaders

Professor Guillermo Rein